John Martin (Young Irelander)

John Martin (Young Irelander)

John Martin (Young Irelander)

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John Martin (8 September 1812 – 29 March 1875) was an Irish nationalist activist who progressed from early militant support for Young Ireland and Repeal, to non-violent alternatives such as support for tenant farmers' rights and eventually as the first Home Rule MP, for Meath 1871-1875.

Early life

John Martin was born into a landed Presbyterian family, the son of Samuel and Jane (née Harshaw) Martin, in Newry, County Down. He first met John Mitchel while attending Dr Henderson's private school in Newry. He received an Arts degree at Trinity College, Dublin in 1832 and proceeded to study medicine, but had to abandon this in 1835 when his uncle died and he had to return to manage the family landholding.

In 1847 he was moved by the Famine to join Mitchel in the Repeal Association but subsequently left it with Mitchel. He contributed to Mitchel's journal "The United Irishman", and then following Mitchel's arrest on 27 May 1848, Martin continued with his own anti-British journal, "The Irish Felon" and established "The Felon Club". This led to a warrant for his arrest, and he turned himself in on 8 July 1848.Martin was sentenced on 18 August 1848 to 10 years transportation to Van Diemen's Land.

Van Diemen's Land and exile

Martin arrived on the Elphinstone with Kevin Izod O'Doherty in Hobart, Tasmania in November 1849. He accepted a "ticket of leave" which allowed him to live in relative freedom at Bothwell provided he promised...
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